Intel core i7 7700k oem
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Intel Core i7-7700K Processor ReviewPosted by Nathan Kirsch Tue, Jan 03, 2017 - 11:00 AM
Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake CPU Performance
The 7th Generation Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake desktop processors have been officially announced and the Intel Core i7-7700K is the new flagship LGA1151 processor for Intel! Intel Kaby Lake desktop performance numbers have been leaked for more than two months now, so if you are reading this review we truly appreciate it and thank you for supporting Legit Reviews and all the independent reviews that we have been doing since 2002! Intel is releasing 16 new LGA1151 processors today for the Kaby Lake desktop processor launch. The good news is that all of these processors are backwards compatible with existing Intel 100 series boards after a UEFI update and of course the new Intel 200 series boards that were also announced today. Pricing on the flagship desktop model, the Intel Core i7-7700K, start at $339 and then go all the way down to just $138 on the lower-end dual-core models.
Intel 7th Generation ‘Kaby Lake’ LGA1151 Desktop CPU Lineup
|Core i7-7700K||4/8||4.2 GHz||4.5 GHz||8 MB||91W||630||$339|
|Core i7-7700||4/8||3.6 GHz||4.2 GHz||8 MB||65W||630||$303|
|Core i7-7700T||4/8||2.9 GHz||3.8 GHz||8 MB||35W||630||$303|
|Core i5-7600K||4/4||3.8 GHz||4.2 GHz||6 MB||91W||630||$242|
|Core i5-7600||4/4||3.5 GHz||4.1 GHz||6 MB||65W||630||$213|
|Core i5-7600T||4/4||2.8 GHz||3.7 GHz||6 MB||35W||630||$213|
|Core i5-7500||4/4||3.4 GHz||3.8 GHz||6 MB||65W||630||$192|
|Core i5-7500T||4/4||2.7 GHz||3.3 GHz||6 MB||35W||630||$192|
|Core i5-7400||4/4||3.0 GHz||3.5 GHz||6 MB||65W||630||$182|
|Core i5-7400T||4/4||2.4 GHz||3.0 GHz||6 MB||35W||630||$182|
|Core i3-7350K||2/4||4.2 GHz||N/A||4 MB||60W||630||$168|
|Core i3-7320||2/4||4.1 GHz||N/A||4 MB||51W||630||$149|
|Core i3-7300||2/4||4.0 GHz||N/A||4 MB||51W||630||$138|
|Core i3-7300T||2/4||3.5 GHz||N/A||3 MB||35W||630||$138|
|Core i3-7100||2/4||3.9 GHz||N/A||3 MB||51W||630||$117|
|Core i3-7100T||2/4||3.4 GHz||N/A||3 MB||35W||630||$117|
Intel only sent over the Core i7-7700K processor today for us to take a look at, so our focus will be on this 91W TDP quad-core processor with 8-threads thanks to Intel Hyper-Threading technology.
The big difference between the on the Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake processor and the Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor is that the new Kaby Lake processors are built using the improved 14nm+ FinFET process that has had a number of refinements done that have allowed Intel to get higher clock frequencies without increasing power. That has allowed Intel to gain 200MHz on the base clock and an impressive 300MHz max turbo frequency on the Core i7-7700K over the Core i7-6700K while keeping the power exactly the same at 91W TDP. Both processors have the same amount (8MB) of L3 cache and even the tray pricing is the same at $339 apiece.
|Intel Series||7th Generation||6th Generation|
|Base Clock||4.2 GHz||4.0 GHz|
|Max Turbo Clock||4.5 GHz||4.2 GHz|
|TDP||91 watt||91 watt|
|Graphics||HD Graphics 630||HD Graphics 530|
|Graphics Compute Units||24||24|
|Graphics Clocks||350 – 1150 MHz||350 – 1150 MHz|
Just looking at the Intel Core i7-7700K processor you won’t see many changes as it is still an unlocked LGA1151 processor! Intel still allows for BCLK and Multiplier adjustments for overclocking Kaby Lake processors and you should easily expect to overclock beyond 5 GHz on the core clock with good cooling like a closed loop liquid cooler.
The other big addition inside Intel’s 7th Generation Core series processors is the addition of a new media engine for HEVC 10-bit (H.265) and VP9 hardware accelerated decoding for improved media performance. Having a dedicated media engine handling video decode is a big deal as it helps ensure media playback is smooth and will improve power efficiency for the latest video formats.
Let’s take a look at the test system and then the test results!
Core i7-7700 - Intel
Core i7-7700 - Intel
< intel | core i7
Core i7-7700 is a 64-bit quad-core high-end performance x86 desktop microprocessor introduced by Intel in 2017. This processor, which is based on the Kaby Lake microarchitecture, is manufactured on Intel's improved 14nm+ process. The i7-7700 operates at 3.6 GHz with a TDP of 65 W and with a Turbo Boost frequency of 4.2 GHz for a single active core. This MPU supports up to 64 GiB of dual-channel non-ECC DDR4-2400 memory and incorporates Intel's HD Graphics 630 IGP operating at 350 MHz with a burst frequency of 1.15 GHz.
CacheMain article: Kaby Lake § Cache
[Edit/Modify Cache Info]
Cache Organization Cache is a hardware component containing a relatively small and extremely fast memory designed to speed up the performance of a CPU by preparing ahead of time the data it needs to read from a relatively slower medium such as main memory.The organization and amount of cache can have a large impact on the performance, power consumption, die size, and consequently cost of the IC.Cache is specified by its size, number of sets, associativity, block size, sub-block size, and fetch and write-back policies.
Note: All units are in kibibytes and mebibytes.
[Edit/Modify Memory Info]
Integrated Memory Controller
[Edit/Modify IGP Info]
Integrated Graphics Information
|MPEG-2 (H.262)||Main||High||1080p (FHD)||Main||Main, High||1080p (FHD)|
|MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)||High, Main||5.1||2160p (4K)||Main, High, MVC, Stereo||5.1||2160p (4K)|
|JPEG/MJPEG||Baseline||-||16k x 16k||Baseline||Unified||16k x 16k|
|HEVC (H.265)||Main, Main 10||5.1||2160p (4K)||Main, Main 10||5.1||2160p (4K)|
|VC-1||✘||Advanced, Main, Simple||3, High, Simple||3840x3840|
|VP9||0||2160p (4K)||0, 2||Unified||2160p (4K)|
Die ShotSee also: Kaby Lake § Die Shot
A die shot of Intel's Kaby Lake Quad Core desktop processors:
Intel Core i7-7700K Review
Depending on how you want to count generations, Kaby Lake is the eighth Intel Core CPU (Bloomfield/Nehalem, Westmere/Clarkdale, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell, Skylake, Kaby Lake), but it bears the 7th Generation nomenclature. Intel has often played it a little loose when it comes to processor model names, for example naming the 'Enthusiast' platform CPUs as architecture generation + 1 (e.g. Haswell is 4th Gen, but Haswell-E has 5000 series model numbers), and somehow Core Duo and Core 2 Duo aren't part of the Core genealogy. Regardless, Kaby Lake is 7th Generation Core, so let's continue.
I'm looking at Intel's new king of the hill, the Core i7-7700K. This is the 'optimization' phase of Intel's new Process-Architecture-Optimization paradigm, and what's being optimized consists of two major items and a handful of smaller tweaks. The first major change is an improved 14nm process (dubbed 14nm+) that should improve clock speeds and power characteristics thanks to changes in the fin height and straining of the silicon, and the second change involves updates to the video/multimedia block to support hardware decoding and encoding of 4K H.265 (which includes HEVC, VP9, and other formats).
If you're looking for the bigger picture with Kaby Lake and the 7th Gen Core processors, check out our main Kaby Lake hub.
The most immediately visible result of the optimizations is that the i7-7700K is clocked higher than the previous generation i7-6700K, and it will overclock higher. Beyond that, if you're using the integrated HD Graphics 630, you can get lower CPU utilization for certain 4K video decoding, and in an exclusive tied to Microsoft's Edge browser, you can stream 4K Netflix content. I've also looked at gaming performance on Kaby Lake's HD 630 integrated graphics. TL;DR: it's not high enough that I'd recommend serious gamers forgo buying a discrete graphics card.
Along with higher clock speeds, the i7-7700K can also work in existing 100-series chipset motherboards, or it can go into the new 200-series boards. This should mostly be a non-issue, but Z270 does include support for 24 PCIe Gen3 lanes (compared to 20 on Z170), and it also brings support for Optane Memory—a technology that will use some form of SSD caching to improve performance, though it's not yet available.
Roughly one third of the CPU die is devoted to graphics and multimedia functions.
The combination of improved clock speeds and minor architecture tweaks mean that, in practice, the real gains from Kaby Lake will be minor at best. 4.5GHz turbo compared to 4.2GHz turbo on the i7-6700K and 4.2 base vs. 4.0 base give the expected performance differential of five to seven percent. Overclock both processors and you're looking at 4.7GHz against 5.0GHz (give or take). Pardon me while I stifle a yawn.
But what about all those cool new media functions—surely they must be good for something? They are, but only if you use the integrated graphics (meaning, you have a display hooked up to the motherboard video outputs)—something anyone playing games is unlikely to do with the i7-7700K. Most people buying an i7-7700K will bypass the HD 630 and video decoding blocks, and it's worth pointing out that Nvidia and AMD GPUs also support a variety of video codecs.
Core i7-7700K performance
I've already discussed all of these aspects of Kaby Lake, but never rendered a final verdict. This is the shorter executive summary of the i7-7700K, focusing on a single product rather than the entire Kaby Lake lineup. CPU and gaming performance with a dedicated graphics card is the same as before, but here I'm highlighting just the i7-7700K in the charts, with both overclocked and stock clocked performance. I'll get to those in a moment, but let's start with a short discussion of the video/graphics/multimedia performance.
First, 4K streaming when you're using the HD Graphics 630 works really well—and CPU utilization is very low with Netflix 4K as an example. Intel claims that laptops with Kaby Lake will get up to 9.5 hours of battery life while decoding 4K video, which is an excellent result. Does that matter to desktop users? Probably not, since they'll be plugged in and most likely running a dedicated graphics card. The 4K Netflix support also features DRM, like it or not—we should place wagers on how long it will be before someone cracks this DRM. Of particular note, the DRM means 4K Netflix streaming can only work via the integrated video ports.
Gaming performance on the HD Graphics 630.
As for graphics performance, I gave the HD 630 every possible advantage by running DDR4-3200 memory. The result is weak compared to even the lowest tier of modern GPUs (GTX 1050 and RX 460), with HD 630 failing to break 30 fps average at 1280x720/1280x768 in most of the games I tested. All is not lost, however, as the games I test are quite demanding. If you're only interested in lighter fare like Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, and Overwatch, HD 630 is sufficient. But for more demanding games, you'll either need a graphics card or you'll need to look at mods that will further reduce graphics fidelity to the point where you can get playable results. And if gaming on a budget is your intent, you'd never give Core i7 parts a second thought.
Number crunching with i7-7700K
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Looking at CPU performance, I'm including stock performance from all of the other processors, though you can view the overclocked performance in the main Kaby Lake hub. Single-threaded performance is a clear highlight of Kaby Lake, with the stock and overclocked 7700K claiming the two top spots in Cinebench's single-threaded test. Also worth note is that in many of the heavily threaded benchmarks the overclocked 7700K is roughly equal to the various 6-core Haswell-E and Broadwell-E CPUs.
In the overall ranking, the 7700K OC beats all three of the 6-core chips we tested. Obviously, overclocking the 6-core chips changes the story, but only by substantially increasing power use. Even when overclocked, the i7-7700K uses less power (165W under load) than the various Haswell-E/Broadwell-E processors (165-200W), thanks in part to a more power efficient platform.
This isn't too shocking since we're comparing 4.2-4.5GHz 4-core against 3.4-3.8GHz 6-core parts, with the 4-core part sporting an improved 6-wide superscalar architecture and other tweaks. Clock speeds account for about 25 percent of the difference, and the architecture (and limited scaling going from 4-core to 6-core) often makes up the rest of the core count deficit. It will be interesting to see what Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X bring to the table later this year, when they get the architectural and platform enhancements.
Overall, the i7-7700K is a modest improvement over the i7-6700K, beating Skylake by a margin that equals the difference in clock speed—six percent, give or take. And this is the best case scenario where I'm testing applications designed specifically to show small differences in CPU performance. In general use, few people would ever notice the difference between a Skylake and Kaby Lake processor.
Gaming on the i7-7700K
If the difference in raw CPU performance isn't particularly noteworthy, the gaming potential of the i7-7700K is even less so. It's not that CPU performance doesn't matter for games, but it's a far less important aspect than graphics performance. Even with a GTX 1080, most of the fastest CPUs are within a few percent of each other. (Testing for all CPUs was done with Nvidia's 376.33 drivers.)
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Note: Doom has a 200 fps cap.
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Overall, the i7-7700K is less than one percent faster than the i7-6700K. Overclocking improves average gaming performance by another 1.6 percent over stock, but anything less than five percent is practically meaningless. More importantly, everything from the i5-6600K through the i7-7700K is effectively tied for gaming potential using one of the fastest graphics cards available.
There are slightly more noticeable individual differences in games, of course. Ashes of the Singularity, Civilization VI, and Hitman all show more than a 10 percent improvement in performance going from a 6600K to a 7700K. But with fourteen demanding games tested, more than half show less than a one percent change in performance. It's why we routinely point to the Core i5 unlocked CPUs as the best overall gaming processors—they're 97 percent of the performance of the Core i7 offerings, at two thirds the cost.
Core i7-7700K: Who's it for?
So who should buy the i7-7700K? For gaming, it's Intel's fastest processor overall, particularly when overclocked, but the margin of victory is pretty slim. The majority of gamers, particularly those planning on running a single GPU (which is what we recommend, given the number of recent titles that don't support multi-GPU), will find everything they need in the 7700K—probably even more than they need. For gaming, most users are better off saving their pennies and picking up an i5-7600K or similar, assuming they even need a new CPU in the first place.
If you already have a Skylake system, or even a Haswell system, forget about Kaby Lake—the performance improvements aren't enough to be meaningful. But if you're looking to build a new Intel system, depending on where you live, the i7-7700K with a Z270 motherboard won't really cost much more than an i7-6700K with a Z170 motherboard. But that still raises the question of whether you should even be looking at Core i7.
For gaming, most users are better off saving their pennies and picking up an i5-7600K or similar, assuming they even need a new CPU in the first place.
What it comes down to is how you plan on using your system. I know tons of people who play games on a CPU that's more than three years old. With a good graphics card upgrade, most CPUs from the i5-2500K onward are still sufficient, unless you're at the top of the graphics stack. Where Core i7 distances itself from Core i5 is when you're doing more complex streaming, or other number crunching outside of games.
The i7-7700K ends up outperforming the i5-7600K by 35 percent on average in our CPU tests. Single-threaded performance isn't much faster, but in video encoding tasks in particular Core i7 can be a significant upgrade. It can also be a big help when streaming games, particularly if you're doing encoding of multiple video streams. If that describes how you use your PC, the extra virtual cores from Hyper-Threading combined with higher clock speeds make the Core i7 a great option.
There's still the red team to consider before taking the plunge. The old AM3+ FX-8370 gets annihilated by the i7-7700K, and the A10-7890K is less than half the performance (but also less than half the price). I wouldn't look to either of those, however, as AMD's Ryzen is right around the corner. AMD has repeatedly stated they'll launch in Q1, which means by the end of March, and current indications are that it will be early March or even late February. If you're thinking about building a new system, at this point you should at least wait and see what Ryzen has to offer. At worst, you wait an extra month; at best, you might get more performance for less money.
Further out, Intel's Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X are coming later this year (rumor: August). That's a ways off, but if you're eyeing the X99 platform, those will be the new 'enthusiast' Intel chips and should bring 10-20 percent more performance than their Broadwell-E counterparts. There are also rumors of a 6-core Coffee Lake chip coming to the Z270 platform in about a year, but we'll have to see if that actually pans out. I suspect we might see that part even sooner if AMD's Ryzen starts making waves.
The Core i7-7700K ends up as yet another incremental improvement in CPU performance between generations. It feels a lot like the Devil's Canyon refresh of Haswell, with higher clocks and a new platform refining the earlier experience. I like that Z270 motherboards with two and three M.2 slots are relatively common, and the new features aren't bad, but it's difficult to pin down exactly who will want to upgrade to Kaby Lake. If Skylake didn't float your boat in mid-2015, the 18 month wait for Kaby Lake must feel even more underwhelming. Here's hoping something happens in the coming year to shake up the CPU market in meaningful ways.
Intel Core i7-7700K Overclocked to 7 GHz Across All Cores on LN2
At CES 2017, overclockers managed to push Intel’s latest Core i7-7700K processor to 7 GHz on liquid nitrogen cooling. Aside from being power hungry and hotter compared to Skylake, Intel’s Kaby Lake processors feature better overclocking potential, with many chips hitting 5 GHz with ease.
Intel Core i7-7700K Pushed To 7 GHz Across All Cores On LN2
The overclocking feat was achieved on different motherboards, namely the ASUS ROG Maximus IX APEX and the ASRock Z270 Taichi. Both are enthusiast-tier motherboards and ensure that users running them will benefit from higher overclocking speeds. The Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K was overclocked to 7030 MHz or 7 GHz if we round up the numbers. A CPU Multiplier of 70 was used with a FSB of 100 MHz.
Intel Core i7-7700K – The Fastest Core i7 Kaby Lake Processor:
The voltage shown in the CPU-Z screenshot is not accurate since overclocks of this magnitude require over 1.5V. The chip was overclocked across all four cores which puts the previous 7 GHz record of Kaby Lake to rest. The previous record was achieved by overclocker “Splave” who pushed the chip to the same frequency under LN2 at 2.00V. But in that record, the chip only had 2 cores enabled whereas the new overclock pushed all four cores to 7.00 GHz. The highest frequency achieved so far with the chip is 7.348 GHz but that was also done with just one of the cores enabled.
Temperatures of minus 183 degrees (Celsius) were achieved during the overclocking spree. You can see some of the pictures from the session below (Image Credits: Cowcotland):
Intel Core i3-7350K Does 5 GHz Easily on Liquid Cooling
Intel also announced their first, overclocking friendly, Core i3 CPU after many years with the Kaby Lake lineup. The Core i3-7350K was set up at Intel’s booth, clocking at 5 GHz with really good temperatures under liquid cooling (Corsair h210i GTX). The CPU’s overclock was captured by Legit Reviews who also gave it a test with the Cinebench R15 benchmark.
The chip being a dual core posted a score of 514cb in multi-threaded and 204cb in single-threaded performance tests. The chip was overclocked to 5.0 GHz on an MSI Z270 Mini-ITX motherboard and a voltage supply of 1.44V.
Intel Core i3-7350K – The Fastest Core i3 Kaby Lake Processor:
Intel Kaby Lake: Core i7-7700K Review
- The new fastest consumer processor
- Higher clock speeds than 6th-gen
- Easy overclocking
- Not a big leap over last year
- Mediocre onboard graphics
- Review Price: £339.99
- 4.2-4.5GHz quad-core chip with Hyper-Threading
- 91W TDP
- Intel HD Graphics 630
- 8MB cache
The i7-7700K is the most powerful processor of Intel’s new “Kaby Lake” generation of desktop processors. A direct successor to the Skylake 6700K, this new model benefits from higher clock speeds, improved graphics performance and a slightly more efficient architecture.
This chip is for those looking to perform challenging tasks on their PCs, including batch photo editing, video editing and 3D work. It will work best in conjunction with a dedicated GPU for ultimate performance.
Video: Kaby Lake explained as fast as possible
Intel Core i7-7700K – Specifications, Technology and Chipset
The seventh generation of Intel Core chips should offer a minor improvement on the sixth-generation processors. There have been no wholesale changes in terms of physical design; the chip has been produced using largely the same 14nm (nanometre) fabrication process as the fifth- (Broadwell) and sixth-generation (Skylake) chips.
In simple terms, the smaller the process, the more efficient and therefore powerful a processor can be. Intel calls the process used on Kaby Lake chips “14nm+”, with each individual transistor benefiting from a taller, thinner design for increased efficiency.
Related: Best Gaming PC specs to build yourselfWith the i7-7700K, we can measure how much of an improvement Intel has made with Kaby Lake: it’s the most powerful chip on the market with all the features you’d expect of a desktop processor.
Those looking for a significant speed boost will be disappointed, however, and anybody running a sixth-generation i7-6700K will have few reasons to upgrade. Those running third- or fourth-generation Core i7 chips will see a decent increase in performance, though.
For more information on Kaby Lake, including a full list of Kaby Lake processors for both laptops and desktops, read our Kaby Lake explainer.
So what’s new? At its most basic, this chip has a higher base clock speed thanks to the efficiency gains made possible by the Kaby Lake architecture. Where the 6700K had a base clock speed of 4GHz, the 7700K manages 4.2GHz.
Related: The best CPUs for gaming, tested
In addition, the maximum Turbo Boost clock speed – which dictates how fast any given core can go – has been increased to 4.5GHz from 4.2GHz in the old model. That’s a decent jump in performance for a processor that has the same 91W TDP (thermal design power) as its predecessor.
On-board graphics performance has been improved as well, with Intel HD Graphics 630 replacing the 530 from last year. As you’ll see from my benchmarks, though, this is no speed demon.
Video: What’s the difference between Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
If you’re upgrading your desktop from a sixth-generation Intel Core processor, your current motherboard should be able to accommodate a seventh-gen chip. This will almost certainly require a BIOS update, so you should check your motherboard manufacturer’s website to see whether compatible firmware has been released. Asus released Kaby Lake-compatible firmware for our Z170-Deluxe motherboard in December.
If you’re starting afresh, you can now pick from a new array of motherboards that includes the Z270 chipset. This new chipset is similar to the Z170, with extra PCI-E lanes to improve performance on systems with high-performance storage and graphics hardware.
Kaby Lake also supports Intel Optane, which offers a way to speed up performance on the cheap. It supports low-capacity, high-performance SSDs to boost the performance of slow hard disks.
Intel has also improved overclocking, both in terms of performance and stability. This should make it far easier to push big speed boosts without spending time obsessing over voltages.
You get the same quad-core architecture with Hyper-Threading, allowing for more efficient multi-tasking and performance-heavy tasks such as 3D and video rendering.
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